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In particular, the kid got scholarships this fall that cover more than tuition, etc. (yay kid!). But in the spring semester, I paid tuition not covered by a scholarship that is more than the excess this fall. Does that cancel the extra scholarship this fall since it is in the same tax year? Or do I have taxable income from the scholarship since there was extra this semester?

It's per calendar year. If you still had some extra scholarship money from Fall 17 left over after accounting for the tuition for both Spring 17 and Fall 17 semesters, you could pre-pay Spring 18 tuition in December this year. That could, of course, leave you short of expenses in tax year 2018 if more scholarships are received.

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